RETURNING to the country where he was born was a scary prospect for a Rugby doctor determined to help war-torn Libya.
Driving into the unknown, Dr Khaled Sherlala, 49, didn’t know what he would be faced with as he made his way into his home country of Libya, which he was forced to leave 23 years ago.
Dr Sherlala, who now lives in Cawston, Rugby, with his wife Hala and four children, works at University Hospital in Coventry as a consultant neuroradiologist.
Dr Sherlala trained as a doctor in Libya but decided to leave when he was 26 years old after he graduated because of Colonel Gaddafi’s oppressive regime.
He said: “I qualified in 1987 and back then all graduates had to do military service for a year as soldiers. I had no objection joining the military and fighting for my country but Gaddafi got involved in so many wars that had nothing to do with us. I didn’t know where I would end up, so I decided to leave.”
Dr Sherlala came to live and complete his training in the UK and moved to Rugby six years ago.
Taking two weeks annual leave from University Hospital, where he has worked since 1997, Dr Sherlala left Rugby on August 22 on a mission to help as many people as he could in Libya.
Dr Sherlala said: “When we saw what was happening in Libya, I wanted to help. We started collected clothes and medical supplies. As the battle to liberate Libya began I knew it was the right time to go over there and help.”
On his trip to Libya he was joined by two others doctors - one from Northampton and one from Surrey. They were both also born in Libya.
Dr Sherlala still has family in Tripoli, including his mother, two brothers and sister, and was welcomed home with open arms. He spent the next two weeks helping out doctors at the main hospital in the ‘ghost town’ city where they were short staffed and patients were even afraid to visit, with snipers on street corners.
Dr Sherlala, who dreams of one day owning a second home in Libya, said: “It was scary but once I was there I just got on with it. The situation in Libya has been distressing but it was been worth it to get rid of Gaddafi. He made Libya a very bad country. I am now positive for the future of my country.”